ATLANTA, GA (August 18, 2008) – Charles (Chick) Armstrong joins NYLO Hotels LLC this month as senior vice president of franchise development. The 15-year industry veteran brings a depth of experience, having spent his career launching successful brands and overseeing franchise development for world-leading hospitality companies.
“NYLO offers something new,” Armstrong said. “With its loft hotel, the company presents a unique, upscale design at cost efficiencies no other brand can match.
“All properties will have the signature NYLO design and amenities,” he continued. “At the same time, each hotel will be different, with original décor, art and design features that reflect the personality of its region. In this way, NYLO provides more of a boutique hotel experience. Developers enjoy the full support of a brand, while also having the flexibility to customize each hotel and capitalize on the strengths of its market.”
In his new role, Armstrong will oversee the expansion of the NYLO full-service and select-service brands across the United States and Canada. The company has an aggressive growth plan of 50 properties opened or under construction by early 2011.
Before joining NYLO, Armstrong served as Southeast regional vice president of development for Hyatt Select Hotels Group, overseeing franchising for select-service brands. He was part of the team that launched Hyatt Place and Hyatt Summerfield Suites in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Under his leadership, Hyatt saw substantial growth. Within the first 24 months of franchising, the Southeast Region led the company with more approved agreements for select-service brands than any other area of the country.
Earlier in his career, Armstrong played a key role in the expansion of the extended-stay segment. He was senior vice president of franchise development for Atlanta-based US Franchise Systems (USFS), then a subsidiary of Hyatt Hotel Corp. Armstrong headed national franchise development for Hawthorn Suites. Among his responsibilities, he created new standards of franchise operations, directed marketing campaigns and served as a member of the USFS executive committee. He was instrumental in rebranding Hawthorn as a higher-end, all-suite, extended-stay product.
Prior to USFS, Armstrong was vice president of franchise development for Wichita-based Candlewood Hotel Company, launched by Jack DeBoer, recognized throughout the industry as the creator of the extended-stay segment. Armstrong was responsible for developing Candlewood’s franchise systems and building the sales and support teams. He joined Candlewood when extended-stay was a new business model. Under his direction, development quadrupled, and the brand grew from 13 to 58 franchised properties opened or under construction nationwide. The success of the franchise operations was recognized by Intercontinental Hotel Company when it purchased the brand in 2003. Today, Candlewood has more than 169 properties throughout North America.
Early in his career, Armstrong was at Cendant Corp., now Wyndham Worldwide. He worked there with NYLO CEO, John Russell.
“Throughout his career, Chick has been at the forefront of shifting travel paradigms,” Russell noted. “His track record is stellar, and his knowledge of the franchise community is second to none.”
“NYLO addresses the changing marketplace with its dynamic loft hotel,” Russell continued. “We’re confident that under Chick’s direction NYLO will reach its goal of 50 hotels opened or under construction across the country within the next few years.”
As vice president of franchise development for Wingate® by Wyndham, Armstrong was responsible for hiring, training and managing the sales team for the brand’s 26-state Western Region. In 1995, Armstrong helped launch Wingate as a chain of mid-scale, newly-constructed hotels. He was a member of the team that introduced brand amenities that have since become mainstays for business travelers. They include self-service check-in/check-out, the in-room cordless phone and complimentary Internet access. During his six years with the company, Armstrong was consistently a top producer. Among his honors, he includes the Salesman of the Year Award for Wingate’s dramatic growth during the first year following the brand launch.
“My goal is always to put the right developer in the right market with the right expectation for performance and return on investment,” Armstrong explained.
“I’m delighted to be part of this company with outstanding prospects for growth,” Armstrong said of his new position. “As developer, owner and operator of its first hotels, NYLO knows the development costs. The principals also have an in-depth understanding of the special considerations and support needed to see each hotel succeed.”
Armstrong graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Marketing. He is a member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association Extended Stay Council.
Armstrong lives in Atlanta with his wife and three daughters. In his spare time, he enjoys golf and travel with his family.